Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, Smell.

How often do we take time to appreciate the fact that these senses are working for us, day in and day out?  How often do we simply take them for granted?  Certainly, if we know someone who has one of these senses impaired, we might be more aware, but do we stop for a minute and be grateful that ours work just fine (even if augmented by corrective lenses, like me).

As I was standing in the bathroom, putting in my contacts without even thinking about the fact that, by definition, I’m visually impaired without them, my mind was filled with thoughts of the last few days when my ears were plugged due to a double ear infection.  But more, what has it meant to my normal, daily life?

Three or four days into the treatment of the infection (due to my high pain threshhold, I don’t really know when it started), the swelling of both the ears and the lymph nodes has abated, the pain is only minimal in my right ear, and my left ear is still blocked.  Some of the obvious implications have actually been positive.  I’ve had little appetite, so I try to stick to fruit, vegetables, lean meat and yogurt.  But others, not so much.  Because our ears affect our balance, I have not felt that driving is a wise choice right now.  Not only for the balance, but because I might not hear something until it’s too late to react.

As a result, my favorite pastime, and my main social outlet, dancing, has suffered.  You’d better believe I’m being extra diligent about putting the antibiotic drops in my ears, taking Claritin and a natural antihistamine at regular intervals, taking lots of natural immune boosters and getting lots of rest.  I am especially avoiding what my research told me was the cause of the infection in the first place.

For some reason, when I lay down to go to sleep at night, my ears get really itchy.  The smart money says to get up and put a little mullen and garlic oil into my ears to soothe the itchiness, but laziness has my lying in bed, sticking a fingernail in my ear and scratching gently.  But let me tell you from experience that your ear doesn’t understand the difference between gently and roughly.  Either way, it finds the intrusion offensive, and will, eventually, reward you for your efforts with the pain and temporary hearing impairment I’ve enjoyed this week. 

I’ve heard stories recently about elderly parents of my peers who lost their sight and were totally panicked by the loss.  I can’t even imagine not being able to see all of a sudden, but I’m here to tell you that not being able to hear is pretty, darned scary too!  It certainly makes you think about all of the things you do which depend on your hearing, your balance, or both.

From this experience and the far too low key week I’ve had, I’ve put together several “don’ts” for myself.

 Don’t neglect yourself.    Do protect yourself!

      1. If your ears are itchy in the middle of the night, DON’T scratch them with your fingernail.  Get your lazy tush out of bed and put some mullen and garlic in them instead.
      2. If your eyes are tired and feeling kind of dry, DON’T keep sticking your finger in your eye to move the contact around.  Take the lenses out and put your glasses on instead.
      3. If you have a dry, bumpy area on your leg, DON’T keep worrying it either with or without fingernails.  Put some lotion on it instead.  (this because I gave myself a raging infection by scratching until I broke skin without realizing it.)
      4. Because I know that you won’t always remember these very important “don’ts”, DON’T forget to take all of your vitamins and supplements every day, including the immunity boosters for those times you forget to take good care of yourself.

It isn’t just our children we need to remind.  We, ourselves, get so busy taking care of others, or trying to make a living or a dozen other things, that the person we neglect the most is usually ourselves.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that at least one of my ears unblocked today for awhile.
2. I am grateful for gentle reminders to take better care of me.
3. I am grateful that I had what I needed to take care of my latest misuse of my body.
4. I am grateful that I WILL be dancing with my friends tomorrow night, and for many, many years to come!
5. I am grateful for all of the writing I have accomplished this week during my enforced confinement to quarters.

Love and light

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